Position Statement about Domestic Hybrid Cats

Position on Hybrid-Derived Domestic Breeds

The International Cat Association (“TICA”), established in 1979, is the largest genetic registry and show association of domestic cats and officially recognizes several distinct breeds of domestic cats derived from domestic cat and wild cat hybrids. The Bengal, the Chausie and the Savannah cat breeds are domestic cats created by breeding the hybrid offspring of domestic X wild cat crosses to domestic cats to sufficiently fulfill the physiological, morphological, behavioral and biological classification as domestic cats.

TICA has established a variety of requirements to assure that all breeds recognized by the Association are healthy, amiable felines that can be considered by individuals or families in selecting a pet to best fit their lifestyle and require no specialized care. These requirements for all breeds, and are especially rigorous for those breeds developed from hybrids with a non-domestic feline, include; 1) Review and approval of breed theory and breeding strategy by the genetics committee comprised of credentialed geneticists and scientists 2) Demonstrations of tractability from many different individuals of the breed over an extended period of time and in a variety of locations 3) Proof that the breed meet the definition of a domestic animal in accordance with the US Federal Animal Welfare Act 4) Establishment of a breed association responsible for ensuring responsible and ethical practices 5) The creation and acceptance of a written breed standard to identify ideal members of the breed

TICA only accepts and approves into championship breeds of cats who require the routine care and medical treatment associated with household pet (non-pedigreed) cats. All feline breeds in TICA, including the Bengal Cat, Savannah Cat and Chausie, require a quality diet and water, exercise and interaction.

TICA requires all show cats, regardless of breed, have an unchallenging disposition.  TICA encourages only the perpetuation of cats, of all breeds, that have a good temperament.

The Bengal, the Savannah and the Chausie breeds have been developed through careful and selective breeding to be reminiscent of the exciting cats that inhabit jungles, grasslands and forests around the world that have captivated and excited humankind since civilization. These breeds, when accepted and approved by The International Cat Association, have been developed with the stringent requirements for animal care, breeding practices and scientific insight.

Cat Breeds, some developed through the use of hybrids with non-domestic cats, provide individuals, families and society with additional beautiful choices from which to choose an ideal feline companion and continue enjoy the benefit from human-cat bonds that have yielded benefits for thousands of years.

The Bengal, Savannah and Chausie and all breeds recognized by TICA are domestic cats with distinctive personalities and interesting histories. These feline breeds should be appreciated and treated as such in all situations.

Important Terms

Domestic Cats – Felines descended from the African Wildcat, Felis sylvestris and possibly other wild species, have lived alongside humankind for up to 10,000 years. Domestic cat may come in a variety of sizes, colors, patterns and from diverse geographical locations. Domestic cats have fertile offspring in both sexes when bred to other domestic cats. Through selective breeding a gamut of distinctive traits have allowed for the establishment of a variety of breeds.

Wild cats – Non-domestic felines that have not been domesticated by humankind over the course of centuries, such as Lions, Leopards, Ocelots and Lynx. Wild Cats produce sterile male offspring when bred to domestic cats. Wild Cats require very specialized care to assure in settings that maximize their continued presence on the planet as the top predators in their environments and inspirations for humankind.

The acceptance, approval and popularity of domestic cat breeds with attributes associated with wild cats by TICA is a deliberate effort to assist in the conservation of wild cats by:

Hybrid Cats – the offspring of domestic cats X non-domestic cats. Hybrid Cat males are sterile and only female hybrid cats may produce offspring. Hybrid cats often require more informed and prepared owners than domestic cats.

TICA does provide a systematic process employing scientific method, expert evaluation and significant engagement to understand and develop domestic X non-domestic hybrids into breeds. The process is long, rigorous and expensive.

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